Economic Indicators

Monthly Economic Indicators

The Chamber tracks key statistics highlighting the Detroit Region’s economic well-being and offers analysis on how it will impact the business community.

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Consumer Price Index

Inflation Increased 3.4% Over the Last 12 Months For All Items, Cooling Slightly 

U.S. consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, in April, increased 0.3%, seasonally adjusted. Over the last 12 months, CPI increased 3.4% over the last 12 months, down from 3.5% in March. The index for shelter rose in April, as did the index for gasoline. Combined, these two indexes contributed over 70% of the monthly increase in the index for all items. The all items less food and energy index rose 3.6% over the last 12 months, down from 3.8% in March.  Read the full report.

 

Chamber Perspective

Chamber Perspective Economic Indicators

The latest report on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) softened in April 2024, with a month-over-month increase of 0.3% and 3.4% increase over the prior year.  The slowing is an encouraging sign as the 3% levels seen thus far in 2024 remain above target levels even though moderate by historical measures.

Solid consumer spending levels and sustained low unemployment rate shows the strength of the economy as the Federal Reserve works to ease inflation. In April, gasoline and housing contributed to nearly three-quarters of the increase in the index this month. Car insurance also has been a prominent contributor to the reading, as vehicle prices have increased.

While consumer sentiment declined last month nationally, as consumers expressed concern on interest rates and inflation, here in Michigan the overall outlook remains strong. The Detroit Regional Chamber’s latest statewide Voter Poll indicated that 80% of Michigan voters are not worried about losing their jobs, and 75% are not having trouble finding a good-paying job.


U.S. GDP

Increased at an annual rate of 1.3% in the first quarter of 2024

U.S. GDP

Consumer Sentiment

Decreased to 69.1 in May 2024, lowest reading in five months.

Consumer Sentiment

Michigan Unemployment Rate

Remained constant at 3.9% in April

Michigan Unemployment Rate

Michigan and US Indicators

Monthly Unemployment Rate

Michigan’s Unemployment Rate Remained Constant For The Third Consecutive Month

Michigan’s April 2024 monthly unemployment rate remained constant at 3.9%. Michigan’s unemployment rate matched the national rate in April. The Detroit MSA’s unemployment rate also remained stable at 3.8% in April 2024.


 

U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product

U.S. Economy Grew at 1.3% Rate in Q1 2024, Weaker Than Expected 

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2024, according to the “second” estimate. In the fourth quarter of 2023, real GDP increased 3.4 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2023, real GDP increased 3.4 percent. The increase in the first quarter primarily reflected increases in consumer spending and housing investment that were partly offset by a decrease in inventory investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.  read the full BEA report.

The GDP is measured as the total market value of the goods and services produced within a specific geography during a given time period. Gross domestic product is a key indicator of the general health of the economy and its performance, with increases indicative of economic growth.

Consumer Price Index

Inflation Increased 3.4% Over the Last 12 Months For All Items, Cooling Slightly 

U.S. consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, in April, increased 0.3%, seasonally adjusted. Over the last 12 months, CPI increased 3.4% over the last 12 months, down from 3.5% in March. The index for shelter rose in April, as did the index for gasoline. Combined, these two indexes contributed over 70% of the monthly increase in the index for all items. The all items less food and energy index rose 3.6% over the last 12 months, down from 3.8% in March.  Read the full report.

 

Consumer Sentiment

Consumer Sentiment Drops to Lowest Reading in Five Months, Inflation Fears Surged

According to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, consumer sentiment registered at 69.1 in May 2024 decreasing about 10% after three consecutive months of very little change. According to Surveys of Consumers director, Joanne Hsu, consumers expressed particular concern over labor markets; they expect unemployment rates to rise and income growth to slow. The prospect of continued high interest rates also weighed down consumer views. Read the full report. 

 The Consumer Sentiment Index is a statistical measurement that provides an economic indicator of consumers’ opinion and optimism of the state of the economy. 

Total Employment

Detroit Region’s Jobs Increased in March 2024

The Detroit MSA’s monthly payroll jobs increased by 1,500 to 2,034,200  in March 2024. Payroll jobs are still below 8,200 compared to March 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

Labor Force Participation Rate

Michigan’s Labor Force Participation Remained Steady in April 2024

The April statewide labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 62.3 percent. Michigan’s LFPR sits 0.4 percentage points below the national rate of 62.7%.

New Business Applications

Michigan’s New Business Applications Declined in April

New business applications decreased 4% year-over-year amounting to 12, 321 in April 2024. Business applications have declined for 3 consecutive months compared to the previous year, signaling a slow down in entrepreneurship activity.

U.S. Manufacturing PMI®

PMI® Contracted For The Second Consecutive Month in May 

The Manufacturing PMI® registered at 48.7% in May, down 0.5 percentage points compared to April’s reading of 49.2%, according to the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®). After breaking a 16-month streak of contraction by expanding in March, the manufacturing sector has contracted the last two months, and at a faster rate in May.

ISM® states a reading above 50% shows that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting. The index is based on a monthly survey of supply chain managers and measures general direction of economic trends in manufacturing and other sectors.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport Total Passengers

Passenger Traffic Increases Year-over-Year

Detroit Metropolitan Airport experienced a 6.0% increase in total passengers in April 2024 totaling 2.72 million passengers compared to April 2023.

Automotive Economic Indicators

Annual U.S. Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR)

New-Vehicle Sales Up From Last Year’s Pace in April 2024

The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) or the selling pace estimated at 15.8 million, up 0.5% year over year and up 1.2% month over month.

 The Cox Automotive Economic and Industry Insights team anticipates weak economic growth, higher new-vehicle inventories, and an end to the seller’s market. Overall, the team expects 2024 to be the best year for car buyers since the pandemic.

Monthly U.S. Light Vehicle Sales

Vehicle Sales Decreased in April 2024

With fewer selling days this past April, volume was lower, as expected, at 1.35 million units, down 3.4% year over year and down 8.9% compared to March.

U.S. Automotive Production

U.S. Auto Production Decreased in April 2024

In April 2024, U.S. auto production decreased to 122,600 units—a decline of 18.5% from the previous month.

Michigan Vehicle Production

Michigan Vehicle Production Decreased in April

Michigan vehicle production totaled 163,752 in April 2024. Michigan production decreased 4.4% compared to March’s production but was 3.6% above the level in April 2023. In April, car production was 7,798 units while truck production was 155,954 units. Nationally, motor vehicles production totaled 941,333, Michigan accounted for 17.4% of the U.S. total production this month.

Automotive Manufacturing Employment

Vehicle Manufacturing Employment Slightly Decreased in April 2024

Michigan’s automotive manufacturing employment totaled 166,000 in April 2024, decreasing 0.2% compared to last month.

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